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Karen Elliott House Education. (2013) 'On Saudi Arabia Its People, past, Religion, Fault Lines -- and Future.'




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U.s. 7, Islam 6, Pepsi 4, Saudis 3, Texas 3, Monsanto 2, Mohammed 2, Lulu 2, China 2, King Abdullah 2, America 2, Washington 2, Abdullah 2, New York 2, King Abdullah Has 1, L. Ron Hubbard 1, Ganis Pardo 1, Ballmer 1, Dave 1, Lipton 1,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    Karen Elliott House  Education.  (2013) 'On Saudi Arabia  
   Its People, past, Religion, Fault Lines -- and Future.'  

    February 24, 2013
    11:00 - 12:00pm EST  

please let us know about book fairs and festivals in your area happy to add them to our lives. post into our wall at or e-mail us at >> and now, karen elliott house, former publisher of "the wall street journal," or find an inside look at the history, culture, and politics of saudi arabia, which she covered for 30 years. this is about an hour. >> thank you very much. it's a real pleasure to be here. i appreciate, i'm honored by being invited to deliver this lecture. dr. wilburn graciously said my latest book, i got to confess, it's my only book -- [laughter] but i spent 30 years as he said going to saudi arabia, mostly as
a reporter on foreign editor talking to saudi officials about oil, iraq, iran, arab-israeli, u.s.-saudi, so geopolitical issues. and when i retired from the journal in 2006, the one thing i was really interested in doing with my newfound time was trying to understand saudi society. how did saudis look at each other, what was the society like, how do they look at the rulers. how do they look at us? and as i speak about saudi arabia, everyone constantly asks me, why did you do that? why did you spend five years month after month going there? dressed in my long black -- my
editor asked me that actually when i turned in the manuscript. she said, you know, why did you do this? and i said, because it's interesting that and she said, harris is interesting. interesting. [laughter] so why did you do this? you know, make me understand. that was her only editing going on the book. so i will try to make you understand why i found it both fascinating and important. saudi arabia is probably the strangest country you will never see. it is so different from our own. a woman and there never reaches the age of maturity. she is always under the control of some man.
she cannot go to her son's school. she cannot even see her son graduate. she obviously doesn't drive. we all know that. she doesn't appear in public without being covered. and you know, when the worst situation, she is simply chattel for a man to do as he wishes with. that's not the norm, i hasten to add, but it does happen. it's a very religiously dominated society in which men obey allah, and women all dami damien. and all of his distant and men are at hand. it is probably less strange to me than it is to most visitors, because of my own background.
like matthew here, who is from a little town in alabama, i'm from a little town in texas, 900 people with four churches, one blinking stoplight, and no movie theaters. so religion was what people did. everyone went to church, and my father was far more conservative than the average person in the town. we were not permitted to wear pants, shorts, no alcohol, no dancing, no musical instruments in our church of christ. so in lots of ways i was quite at home in saudi arabia. [laughter] i devoted my time to trying to figure this country out, precisely because i think it is
the one arab country that is truly strategic. not only because it is the world's largest exporter of oil, which sustains the western way of life, but because saudi arabia, i am convinced, will be critical in the ultimate resolution of what is the proper islam, which is going on now between the radicals, jihadists, if you will, and the more modernizing muslims. and that very battle also goes on inside saudi arabia. to try to understand the society can i knew that it was like someone coming here to write a book about america. you wouldn't be able to go to washington and new york and claim to understand america. so i had to be confident that i
could get outside of we aren't, they're washington, and their new york. and i was permitted over those five years, i went all over the country and i saw all kinds of people, a lot of the royal family, but also very poor people, men, women, young people, old people. and it was an event is, frankly, to be a woman because you could talk to both men and women. a western woman in saudi arabia is basically an honorary man. so men are mostly unprepared to talk to you, even some of the senior religious officials who of course believe it is wrong to be in the presence of a woman who's not your relative. in the beginning i had a one
month, one entry visa. then i got three months visa to come and then i was given a five year multiple entry visa. and at that point i came and went as i chose. i did not have to deal with a government minder. i would use a cell phone, and hired a car from the hotel and called friends and get them to pass it to other people. so my goal was not to prescribe saudi arabia out to be like, but to try to understand and describe what it was like. so i want to talk to be first about some observations about saudi society, and in second about what those observations might portend about its stability or vulnerability, and then lastly, about scenarios that u.s. policymakers, which
may someday include some of you in the audience might face. saudi society, this probably should not have surprised me, i did. it is much more diverse than we in the west think. there are people who live quite western allies inside their homes, and there are obviously people who seek to live a seventh century life. it is also much more divided than i realized, and much more dependent on government number because most people work for the government. the divisions are quite deep. so it's not come in my view, rid a country as much as it is a collection of tribes with a flak. -- flag.
it is divided by region, by religious sect. the majority are sunnis, but there are sunnis, divided by gender. and people have a deep distrust of each other so they don't really mix much outside of their family. i'm going to show you my version of how i think the society functions. this is a saudi, this little figure here, he was inside a family, who is inside the tribe, which is inside a country ruled by the religious establishment, and all of that is ruled by the royal family. and so it's a quite constricted, if you will, society.
the religious establishment legitimizes the rule of the al saud by giving them the good housekeeping seal of approval for their religiosity. otherwise the al saud would be just another tribe your but 250 years ago, one of the al saud's met up with a man, as in wahhabism, and mr. oaxaca wanted to conquer arabia for the one true god, feeling that the area had strayed from the teaching of the profit. and mohammad al saud wanted to conquer for himself. so together they did conquer arabia because it was more productive to fight in the name of god and in the name of the al
saud, so that symbiotic relationship has existed ever since. people live literally behind walls, so most people's homes are surrounded by walls 10 or 12 feet high. and they live inside even higher walls, figuratively. they are bound, if you will, by, like a mummy in the bindings of tradition and religion. so that there's a rigidity that keeps people from having much independence or individualism. but the internet and social media and satellite tv are penetrating those walls now in a big way. so that young people, and 60% of
the population of saudi arabia is under 20 years of age, so those young people have grown up without knowing and impoverished saudi arabia. only knowing if you will, a declining one. the developer was done in the '70s and '80s, and that's the population has exploded, many of the services have actually deteriorated. so young people do not have a lot of gratitude to the royal family for what they did for them. they say, why haven't you done -- why haven't you done more? they are hearing through these media other versions of islam besides the wahhab version. so they are also learning to question as well as communicate, which is a very new thing in saudi arabia.
the country exists basically on the three pillars of stability. and in my view, all of those are cracking. religion is obviously one of them, and in a secular society like our own, it's almost impossible to imagine the on the presence of religion in saudi arabia. -- omnipresent. every university, every shopping mall, every airport has grows up prayer rugs with the direction of makeup properly pointed so that -- mecca so that people parade in the break at the proper times during the day. elite class, shopping malls, close. everyone goes to pray. and i would one day, one
weekend, which there would be thursday and friday, with a saudi family. the parents had been educated in the u.s., and they took me on a picnic out in the desert. and at the end of the evening, the family was praying the final prayer of the day, and i was sitting on a rugged. and at the end of that, their six-year-old son came to me and he said, i need to teach you something. and i said sure. and he said, do you know what to say when the angel of death comes? and he could tell i did not. so he proceeded and he said, he says, who is here, got. and he says tricky dick and he says he was your profit and you say mohammed. what is your faith? and you say islam. what are your words? and you say i heard and i
believe. and muslims apparently believe that this great interview occurs immediately after you were buried, and if you have been a good muslim and properly answer these questions, you are borne aloft and shown a window on have been, and then put back into your grave awaits judgment day. and if you have not been a good muslim and cannot properly answer these questions, you are pulverized and put back together and pulverized into to get -- put back together for eternity, until the judgment day. so this little boy who had learned this in school, not from his parents actually, wanted to save me, that dreadful fate. i also lived to try to understand that very conservative religious mentality with a woman who, very
conservative woman, she would have made my father look liberal, and she had translated for me at several dinners with and imams mother, sisters and wives but and i asked her if i could live with her for a week, and she said yes. so behind the walls she opened the gate, and as we walked in she said, that's where she lived, meaning the first wife. and we went upstairs where this lady, named lulu, lived. and when her husband came up, as he did every 24 hours, i had to go and hide in my room because obviously he was not supposed to encounter -- he knew i was there, but to encounter a woman
who was not a relative. she had a tv, but they get only the religious channel which does not allow any women on, because the saudis state tv now does have women with their heads covered but their face is uncovered. and she regarded that as totally improper. and i'm convinced that she allowed me to do this because she wanted to convert me. and she spent a lot of time. actually the first thing she may be due, she took out the family computer and dialed up a youtube video, six episodes, six, 10 minute episodes by a fundamentalist preacher in texas. she had done her homework. a fundamentalist preacher in texas who had converted to islam. and when that didn't lead to a
conversion, she told her brother -- she called her brother over and we shift more discussions. i read at the wrong three times during his five year period because it was great fun to discuss religion with people. but all of this new information that young people meant, old people, if they would have access to, is eroding the credibility of the religious establishment, which increasingly is seen by really religious people like her as doing the will of king abdullah, rather than the will of allah. and they point to things like mixing is wrong, and yet the team has built a big new university outside called the king of the university of science and technology, which not only makes the saudi men and
women, but mixes them with infidel men and women from all over the world. and when one of the 20 senior religious scholars was asked about the appropriateness of this on tv, he said it's wrong. and the king fired him, because the king appointees 20 people, and -- appoints these 20 people. and not surprisingly many of the other senior members begin to discover that the prophet have had his hair washed by women and other things that made this okay. so people see this, if you will, double standard, and it has undermined the credibility of the religious establishment, obviously with the deeply religious but also with those who don't mind mixing at all
just think it's, if the king can get the religious to approve this, why can't he make them approve more things, like women driving or whatever? the second pillar of stability in the kingdom is obviously the oil wealth that lies at least -- that buys at least acquiescence if not loyal to any more, the government and royal family. 90% of the treasury in saudi arabia comes from oil wealth. it's a country that does not tax people because there's a saying there, yeah, that he we have no taxation without representation, and they are, there's no representation without taxation bu.and the royal family doesn't tax, therefore, you don't get the representation.
but oil wealth obviously funds the jobs of saudis and most all saudis work for the government. 90% of the workers in the private sector are foreigners. so there are 19 roughly million saudis and ate to 9 million foreigners in the kingdom. because energy is subsidized, it has now become again a subject in the saudi press and discuss among saudis that what's going to happen if we continue to use more and we have less to export, and its exports of oil that fund our lifestyle.
now, it is possible that the government will find a way to tell people we're going to cut the subsidies, but in this post arab spring environment they are not inclined to take things from people. and the country is $500 billion in foreign reserves, so it's hardly broke. but there are saudis financial institutions that estimate that the government spending will exceed governor revenues by 2014 because after the arab spring when king abdullah came home from back surgery, he passed out $130 billion to the society, on top of a $180 billion annual budget. so more money for students stipends. more money to the religious establishment. more money for everyone, and
created a minimum-wage for the first time for saudis are obviously not for foreigners. and lastly, is the royal family itself, the third pillar of stability which i think is weakening. the biggest internal issue in the kingdom i think is the aged and confirmed leadership. this latest saudi state was declared in 1932, and when he died in 1953, the crown has passed from one of his, first to his eldest son, and then from brother the half brother to half brother. so king abdullah is the fifth of those boys, and the old man had
44 sons by 22 wives, and 36 of them lived to adulthood, but they are all now rather culturally. the king is 90, and he has already outlived, in only seven years, two of his brothers as crown prince. he's on his third crown prince. so it's very reminiscent of the old soviet union in the '80s, when brezhnev, half-day brezhnev, died and was replaced by elderly, and drove off to die quickly and was replaced by chernenko, who died quickly and was finally replaced by gorbachev, but by then it was too late to save the system. so as ronald reagan said at the time when they were basic -- basically three soviet leaders in over three years time, they keep dying on me. [laughter] and that's what i think
president obama and future american presidents are going to be dealing with. certainly here in the next four years. they have no ability to agree yet on the son of one of the brothers, because the 36 branches each fear that if my son gets it, your son, your whole branch is disenfranchised because we will pass it down in our branch because there's not -- only it was easy to pass it from brother to brother, but how do you decide if you're going to pass it from cousin to cousin? which custom? there are hundreds of them. the king tried to get around that having an allegiance counsel with one person from every branch of the family that we decide, but when his first crown prince died, that group
apparently met in one of the brothers said i should be the next crown prince come and the king said no, i'm picking another brother. and that was the end of one man one vote within the royal family. they never had to vote. there was an expression and a decision. so young saudis do worry just as normal ordinary saudis about what will happen, will these cousins, if you will, quarrel with each other when the time comes? because there are three basic units in this kingdom, and defense minister, a national guard and a huge interior operation that watches people and guards the oil facility. so a lot of saudis to the summit
each of these is run by a prince, cousins, that they will perhaps fight with each other, which has happened in the past among the royal family. it's what brought down the second saudi state in the late 1880s. so if you're just a normal sunday, you talk about what is my plan b. and most people don't know what their plan b is. so there's a lot of nervousness, a lot of frustration, and because this is a country that has no experience whatsoever with self-governance, or even individual responsibility or civil society, they don't, most of them, a few talk about democracy, but most of them simply want what they described as justice, and what they say
they mean by that is a government that is more transparent, more accountable, more rule of law. where there are clear rules and they are enforced equally, not enforced, or not enforced as often the case, but enforced based on who you are. i think this brings me to the what could happen. obviously, one scenario is a continuation of the status quo, which i tend to think is the most likely, certainly in the short run because the family. i think a, can't bring itself to agree on the leader yet, and b comment even though many of them say there has to be change, they
don't agree on what that change is. so the status quo is the easiest thing. and the risk of that obviously is further economic stagnation, and more unemployment. unemployment among the young saudi men, 20-24, is roughly 40%. and 40% of people, saudis, not foreigners, live on less than $1000 a month. so they are not all rich. and, indeed, this wealth disparity is the source of anger among a lot of saudis. another option is that the society, there is some younger prints who tries to open up a bit and revive the economy. the risk of that is, it produces
a backlash among the conservatives who don't want more change and openness and opportunity are women, which they see as the road to ruin, if you're like my friend, lulu. and if you got a religious backlash, you obvious they had the quote modernizers, and that does not mean westernize yours. ..
but it's hard to entirely rule out the fourth option, obviously some kind of chaos that leads to collapse, sparked by something like in tunisia with a young man buried himself to death. saudi's are very passive, but they also, young people at least increasingly question why can't we have mark whacks might as the royal family take more than their share? said it may be as the royal family likes to say, and as many in the u.s. government to leave,
that the status quo will hold. they so with bad predictions about trouble with the royal family and they always come through. i personally think it could be different this time, simply because of the external pressure in the region again the status quo and because of the internal information and frustration and lastly because of royal family is in this very difficult transition. but i will close up my metaphor for the society, which i used in the book of a 747 flying with the cockpit full of geriatric, first class full of princes who would be keen and take over the.
economy full of restrictive young people. some islamic fundamentalists who want to turn the plane around and go back to the past and some islamic terrorists who want to shoot the pilot and hijacked the plane. it continues its oil wealth altitude and that there may be somebody on the plane who could land at, but they are -- seem unlikely to get an opportunity. and with that, i'd like to take your questions. [applause] >> there will be a speaker, a
microphone on either i/o. so if you'll just raise your hand, and because of cnn, want to make sure you have the microphone in your hand when you start speaking. we're going to start with this question. if you want to give a speech, and maybe see me afterwards. if you have a question, this is a good time for it. >> thank you so much for today. my name is erin, a first-year student in a grad school. you deliberately, intentionally went to saudi arabia to immerse yourself in a culture, something not many of us will have an opportunity to do. my question for you is what if anything is saudi arabia doing in the realm of public diplomacy to help westerners better understand that?
>> that's a good question. what is saudi arabia doing in the realm of public diplomacy i think they are doing a few tourist visas, but not match. and i don't know. it may exist some kind of student exchanges. i know the u.s. rings saudi students here on the state department tours. and i met a young man they are who actually had a very conservative, who confess to beating his brother in the 80s and he was a sharia law graduate and came on a legal tour of the u.s. and it completely changed
his mind. he said it was the first time i ever knew that a woman could have her head uncovered and not be a whore. they have so many misconceptions of us. my first dinner at the enon's family was very tense. he had his mother, his wife and six sisters. they basically asked me, do you ever see your mother likes they have the safety of that american women are walking around if not half dressed in office no telling what i'm paying no attention to their parents or children and we are a family oriented society. you know, over time i think they got past that, but i am a big fan of exchanges in both directions.
but i do not know how much they are doing to encourage people. i will think they're doing a lot to encourage the average person to visit saudi arabia. yes, sir. >> or my impression from that brand of islam practiced in saudi arabia is more conservative than that and a lot -- and the rest of the muslim world. however, in a lot of ways they seem friendlier to the west and maybe it has to do with the sale of oil a necessity to continue the revenue stream. he spoke to saudi arabia basically started as a fusion between the south family wanting to conquer and the religious element of someone in the same thing for different reasons. my question is does it continue
to be fused to the modern saudi family and other elites to continue to control the population in a disingenuous way, are they actually religious? >> that obviously depends on the individual saudi, but there's no question religion is used to control the society. the official position, what is preached repeatedly by the religious establishment and the only organization in the country. their 70,000 mosques and there are no other organizations. the view of these religious people assume that's not cause chaos, so if you want to challenge them to, you must do it privately.
there is a whole islamic debate about what is the proper way to confront your leader, but in saudi arabia, the fundamental view of the religion is you do not confront them publicly. so when osama bin laden said my islamic view coming to hasten to point out is not a religious scholar, but when he challenged the royal family in the 90s, his view was just okay to call them out i'm not the properly religious. so religion is for some thing every straitjacket over people that you mom, who i mentioned,
whose wife and family i spent a lot of time with and with him. he was very critical is it okay to confront your rulers has been fears of chaos, of causing a lack of harmony in the community of believers, the community of believers than keeping harmony there is very important. so if there's not real harmony, at least there is pretend harmony. but she's the reason why people can do all kinds of things in their home from drinking alcohol to having dinner with recommend they are not very to executives
in private, it does not disrupt the harmony of the community. if you do things in public that, if you will, flouts the norm, that is what started. yes, ma'am. >> i was just wondering about to be in, you know, wells fargo, dfa, how did they get their fdic? is a regular bank that they all go to in saudi arabia? or do they have a lot of american tanks? >> they have a lot of banks. there is a dutch bank, british bank, french bank, a lot of saudi banks.
obviously, for the saudi banks is the need to purport to be sharia are correct, so not to earn interest and they have various ways in the banks have sharia experts who told him how to do this. and it's another thing to religious fan favorite and a perv. , that you're not supposed to entries is going on. you're not supposed to have infidels in the country, the religious establishment approved the presence of u.s. troops in 1990 when it was necessary. you're not supposed to have movie theaters, but on the university campus, there is a mosque in a movie theater side-by-side. there's also one oil company, but the religious are not
permitted inside the compound, which is obviously acceptable because they're fun battle with the religious, that the entire country. and this is the thing that really d50 the religious people who would like to have a genuine islam back to the seventh century where we don't do these things, with the prophet mohammed is out of the communal plate, we should be doing nice. so the divide in the country i think is get bigger as king abdullah has tried to do a few things, giving scholarships to nearly 140,000 saudi's to study abroad, including women, putting
30 women in this 150 person shura, which has no power other than the power of debate. that is it can for the really conservative, it totally inappropriate thing to have one income even though they are separated and covered, it is not proper in their mind. so as he does these things, their opposition grows and as their opposition grows, you know, it is a tug-of-war and there is the fifth caliph after the death of mohammed, leader of the faithful set up in damascus and he lasted for 20 years under
first-year head in all but one killed a somebody rather quickly. so he would ask, how did you last a long? and this is what is practiced by the royal family now. i hold a hair between me and my people. when they pull, i yield, when they yield, i pull and that is exactly what happens in saudi arabia. when the pressure builds, the king passes out money or send students abroad. if the pressure builds in the other direction, people are pulling, these things can rollback as they did in the 80s. so for students, then i'll stop on this, they had elections for municipal government in 2005, ganis pardo's the 9-1-1 spain
and the rest of the world. and women of course were not permitted to go, but they were supposed to be another election in 2009 and they were told they might evil two, 12,009 came, there was no election for anybody. and then to any of after the year of spring. suddenly there was an election, for men, not women. but there is a need to be seen to get some thing and so wedded to the promise, that nokia and was then given. so that's largely how things work. some of them say to sourceforge, one steps back. stay two steps and one step forward. whichever you take, it's a small margin for maneuver. yes, sir.
>> thank you. much. [inaudible] i had a chance -- [inaudible] they're talking about liquor people. there's lots of programs that never, ever talk about the king himself. >> is always someone else's cell. >> any kind of construction is very taboo to talk about kings. in many cases come in many people complained to the king
instead of saying he's bad. so from your observation, can be crucial if some complain or can be complain for the future. >> i'm sorry, what's the question? >> the question is the cumulative frustration to the frustration or for the future. >> so busy and absorber for frustration target for that frustration? >> i think you're right that whoever the king as, even complainers, the worst that anybody would say to me about king abdullah is he surrounded by bad people who don't tell him what's going on and he's an old man and he doesn't know and they never criticize him direct way
for almost never. so the king obviously has some handy that is all-powerful if he chooses to be because whenever this king makes up his mind to descend pain, he does say it like the university or there was a woman who was forcibly divorced from her husband by her brothers who insisted the father had never given permission. once the father died, they wanted a sister to divorce. she refused. when she was divorce commission refused to go home with her brothers and she obviously couldn't go home with her husband come associate justice on staying in jail, which she gave for four years in the case got a lot of publicity and eventually the king involved
himself to get a new judicial decision, which allowed the couple to remarry. so he is very much about the fray. as for becoming a target, it is likely to stay that way, but the royal family might be a target, if you will, of complaint. but that will probably continue to be --a people continue to give the king personally i pass and expect him to get involved and absorb things. there's been a very big case of a religious man who beat his 5-year-old to death. i saw just before coming up here, somebody sent me a story, assuming it's true, a story that the royal family has intervened
to keep that man in prison for now. and not let him get out after form a because, you know, they can hear when people are upset about things and because the king is basically all-powerful when he chooses to use it. they can do what they wish. but again, tethered to the religious and the need to retain their approval from the religious establishment because when the first brother succeeded , it had it had been set in 1963 and he had a second rather basically quarreled for 10 years because the new king bankrupt the country.
and indiana, the family decided we have to get rid of 10 and the religious establishment was senescence called m2 plus that. so i think a lot of royals realize you need to always be able to be in a good graces of the religious establishment. you might need them one day against each other, not just help you with the people. we have to go, but a thank you all very much. [applause]
>> so, let's think about how the typical american eats. 90% of the food budget goes towards buying processed food, 90%. 84% of americans see their children a fast food restaurant at least once a week. and when the consumer enters the grocery store, they are met by hundreds if not thousands of rams. since they shop for beverages, they might buy a pepsi, gatorade, tropicana, lipton tea from the sierra mist, mug root here, it can't energy, bottled water if they're health-conscious they might die choose peer for breakfast they might buy cap'n crunch, quaker cereal, and jemima's, puffed wheat free meals and snacks. raisa rony, lays potato chips, sun chips, cheetos, cracker
jacks, dupree does a ruffles. but the consumer probably doesn't realize, that all of those brands are owned by pepsi. pepsi is the largest food company in the united states if you want to call those items to and it's the second largest in the world. or they might imsa product. i won't go throughout the nestée brands, but nicely peddles about 6000 brands. they had 94 billion in sales and 10.5 billion in profits. pepsi had about 6.4 billion in profits because nestlé is the biggest hoot company in the world and not just in the u.s. so basically in every subset sector as the food industry, we have just a few comp names that
are controlling all of those brands. 20 companies control the highest percentage of grants in the grocery store. and as those, 14 of those brands control organic food. l. ron hubbard food is basically controlling what people eat. then we had the grocery conglomerate. wal-mart leads the pack along with kroger and target, but ballmer is by far the largest. one out of every three grocery dollars goes to wal-mart. wal-mart has more wealth. a lot of clout and collar. it canisius political and economic power to basically dictates who in farm policy. they speak with one voice and
they decide what the pesticide regulation should be, every aspect of our food system partnered with the biotech industry, which is also become so powerful that it can basically buy public policy. food and water which we which we did a report on biotech industry. turns out there's 100 biotech companies lobbying full-time. and that does, dave hyatt 13 former members of congress and 300 former staffers of the white house and congress. the biotechnology industry has a lot of clout. wal-mart and monsanto are really partnering up in some ways. one of the ways was recently with genetically engineered sweet corn. you remember this from last
summer. i know a lot about their consumer group were trying to get wal-mart because they say they want to be sustainable to not buy this required. it creates a market and monsanto plans to up quickly 40% of the market for sweet corn be genetically engineered variety and of course it won't be labeled. so you now, those who say wal-mart is going to be reached via the food system really need to look at the latvian record that wal-mart has. its model is basically putting pressure on suppliers to cut costs and uses every trick in the book to do this. i go into great detail and the
book and nice. we don't have time to deal with it this evening, but one of the things wal-mart has done effect late to really reduce this cost is by most of its products, whether it's food or consumer goods, a high percentage of products come from the developing world, especially china. wal-mart and he said processors and grain traders for the biggest proponent of globalizing the food system. they find it advantageous to process, to grow food rates cheaper countries in countries with environmental laws are weaker, where they can have an even easier time to teaching policies. and so, increasingly foods are being produced in the country. and if are talking about organic, it's difficult to verify in the u.s. that organic products are meeting the standards. so we can imagine how this is
happening in places like china. >> up next,